For sheer natural beauty, it’s hard to beat the Plitvice Lakes National Park. You’ll find this Croatian gem nestled between the coastal city of Zadar and the capital, Zagreb. It is truly one of the most tranquil and beautiful places on earth. Here we take a trip around this UNESCO World Heritage Site and share its main highlights with you.
What to Expect from the Plitvice Lakes National Park
Covering an area of almost 116 square miles, the Plitvice Lakes National Park contains a total of 16 lakes, which are all connected to each other by a series of spectacular waterfalls. The largest of the falls, Veliki Slap, is almost 230 feet tall! The park itself ranges in altitude from 4,199.5 feet at its highest point to 1,247 feet at its lowest, taking in a wide variety of scenery and terrain.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is a haven for lovers of wildlife and nature. Much of the park is covered in deep forestry, in which many species of animals and birds make their homes. The animals you’ll have the chance of spotting here include wolves, deer, and bears!
How to Get Around the Plitvice Lakes
The park can easily be explored by the whole family. There are wooden walkways leading you all the way through both the Higher and Lower Lakes sections. It is also possible to take a boat trip for those who want to get closer to the water!
Additionally, if you’re traveling in a party of 15 people or more, and you’re prepared to spend a little extra, you can pre-book a four-hour guided tour of the park in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian or Croatian.
Ticket Prices and Opening Times
You can visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park all year round, although it stays open for longer each day during the summer months when opening times tend to be from 7:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. Entrance fees currently stand at the following prices:
- November – March: 55 Kuna (approximately US $8.50)
- April – June, and September – October: 110 Kuna (approximately US $16.50)
- July and August: 180 Kuna (approximately US $27)
Entry costs less for under-18s, and admission is free for children under seven. There are also discounts available for students and larger parties of 15 people or more.
The money from entrance fees is used to contribute to the protection and maintenance of the park, so it’s going to a worthy cause. You can find out more details about ticket prices and opening times on the official Plitvice Lakes National Park website.
When to Visit
It’s worth noting that if you want to see the whole of the park, the summer is the time to visit – the Higher Lakes section is usually closed to the public between November and April.
However, the park has plenty to offer visitors at all times of year – even in winter, when the snow can lend a magical feel to the surroundings! The fall is also a beautiful time here, with the red and gold leaves providing a dramatic backdrop to the lakes themselves. At the height of summer the park tends to become quite crowded so if you want to see both the Higher and Lower Lakes while avoiding the crush, aim to visit at the beginning or end of the peak season, such as in late spring.
Staying the Night
The Plitvice Lakes National Park contains three hotels and also has its own campsite, with 500 camping spaces and bungalows. There is another campsite, Camp Borje, and the Hotel Grabovac, which are located outside the park but within easy reach of it, just a few miles away.
Many of the towns and villages in the surrounding area also offer rooms to rent and apartments in guest houses. If you’re traveling from anywhere further away than Zagreb or Zadar, an overnight stay is essential due to journey times. Make sure you plan accordingly.
For a taste of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in its full glory, take the Virtual Tour on the official Plitvice Lakes website. It will definitely make you want to pay a visit to this magical place!